Book Three Chapter One: The Game

Book Three Chapter One: The Game

A Chapter by Ryan Henderson

Book Three: Beside The Dying Fire

                        Chapter One The Game: Chibata had the wheel of the jeep. He was a much better driver than Lisa. Saja was faster than the jeep, but this helped us gain some significant distance between her and the house. We were close, but not close enough to be accurate with my gun. "You should just give up now!" Yelled Saja from over her shoulder. Even from here I could see her unnatural violet eyes. Excitement soared within my gut. "Not chance!" I yelled back. I was standing on the back platform of the jeep, poking through the top of the un covered roof. In the car, there was Chibata in the driver’s seat, Lisa in the passenger seat, Eric in the back seat, Kaleen beside him, and Anara on her lap.

            Saja poured on the speed. Chibata swore. "Can't this thing go any faster?" Asked Anara. "I'm afraid not." replied Chibata. Saja was speeding out of sight! We then heard something. It was quiet at first, but it was slowly growing louder. Kaleen had heard it, too. Then, it appeared behind us. Although just a speck on the road, I recognized it for what it was: Another car. I frowned at it, another car on the same road as us in the vampire apocalypse. Something wasn't right. "What do you think we should do?" Asked Lisa. "Well, let me ask you this," Chibata began. "How convenient is it that right when we're chasing that... Saja character, a suspicious looking car appears behind us?"

            Eric then spoke. "It doesn't look suspicious. He said. Chibata shook his head. "Kid, at a time like this, all changes in the scene should look suspicious." Chibata said. "World War Two taught me that." He added. Kaleen smiled. Whoa, you fought in World War Two?" She asked. Chibata smiled. "You bet, I went to the States and became an air force pilot, one of the best." Chibata said. Now it was Kaleen's turn to smile. "I could have used you for a World War Two report a while ago." She said. I listened to the conversation, but still had my eyes on the car that was behind us. It was a silver pickup truck, it looked pretty normal to me...

            By now, Saja was out of sight. She had disappeared over a hill, which we were at the bottom of. The suspicious car was drawing nearer. If they were any trouble, we only had four bullets. The car was coming up fast. When it was within fifty meters it slowed down. Kaleen looked back from her seat in the back. "Nick, down!" She yelled. I didn't know what she meant. She grabbed my belt. And just before she dragged me into the safety of the car, the last thing I saw was a muzzle flash from a gun.

            Zing! The bullet flew overhead, just missing me. Fear and adrenaline filled me as I ducked. Three gunshots sounded, followed by Ping! Ping Ping! Three quick shots slammed the back of our jeep. "They've got automatics!" Yelled Chibata. Then, confirming his theory, a series of gunshots riddled the right side of our jeep. "Chibata, I have four shots left, but I don't want to miss!" I yelled. We were now ascending the hill that Saja lost us on, it was a steep drop both ways off the side. I heard Lisa and Eric scream from their places inside the jeep, they had been sitting near each other, and they had both gotten hit by a barrage of gunfire. Sorrow filled me, I did not want to look, for fear of what I might see. I looked over, and Lisa and Eric were both dead. Even more sorrow hit me. My two childhood friends, dead. "No!" I shouted. I knew deep down that they would not have lived anyway, regardless of whether or not they went with me.

            The next shot hit our left side of the jeep. Ping! With that, Chibata took a hard left turn and caught the pickup truck right on the side. Both our vehicles were now pressing against each other, with a few Kerulen gunmen unloading on us. Now it was a battle for who would throw who off the edge of the hill, or a battle for who would shoot who out of the vehicle. I stood up and pointed my gun. I came face to face with a Kerulen. I gazed into his crimson eyes. I got my revolver up quicker than he could duck. I positioned it adjacent to his forehead, touching it, and pulled the trigger. I watched the life go out of his eyes. The pistol kicked back and made a loud crack! Noise. The Kerulen's head then threw back and he fell out of the back of the pickup. I felt no remorse for killing him. Just wait Saja. I thought. That's what's in store for you.

            "They're Kerulen." I said as I got back into the jeep. "There is no doubt Saja set this up." Said Kaleen. After seeing their friend die, the Kerulen backed off, they threw the pickup into reverse and disappeared from sight. Smart. Soon we were the only ones in sight on the road. "So, what is the deal with this Saja character?" Asked Chibata. I gave a brief recap of what she did to me in the beginning, told how she tried to have me killed various times, how she had kidnapped me and held me prisoner for the knowledge of Tigiti and the chosen one that she thought I had. I also told of how she had one the battle for humanity, and how I lost. "So you see, she’s evil. She needs to die." I finished.

            "No kidding." Chibata said. We drove on for a few more minutes in silence. We passed run down houses and I briefly wondered if Saja was hiding in one, but then again, she would not try something so obvious.

            Saja sped away from Nick's jeep. As Saja looked back, she saw the pickup truck full of armed Kerulen headed for Nick and his friends in the jeep. This, of course was a precaution, on the off chance that something did happen, such as if Nick did manage to gain some kind of advantage over her. The Kerulen would be shooting at them in minutes. Saja did not know what to do now, she was surprised that Nick had actually had the guts to follow her, after what happened last time, was he stubborn and vengeful? Or did Saja just make him more determined?

            Saja wanted to go back and kill Nick, but she was out numbered. Saja had thought that she had lost Nick in the car, but she heard the low whine of the engine. She then heard a loud, splitting crack! A bullet flew past Saja, missing her by a mere inch. Zing! Saja looked back, and saw Nick over two hundred feet away, the headlights from the jeep were blinding. Saja was getting tired, she couldn't keep running like this. She either needed to go back and end the chase, or find cover. The choice was obvious.

            Saja ran off the road, past a few houses and into a dense forest. A minute later, she looked back and saw the headlights of the jeep. "Grab your gear and let's go." Said Nick. She couldn't imagine Nick and his friends had much gear, but she couldn't underestimate them. She'd made that mistake before. She leaped up and grabbed a nearby tree. She began to climb. Someone had brought a flashlight into the forest, the narrow beam of light was dim, but if they decided to look up, she would be discovered. With this thought, she leaped over to the nearest tree, about five feet. She cleared the distance without a problem. Her body hit the tree with a dull thump.

             The flashlight beam bathed the tree she had just been in with light. "I only have two bullets, I'm going to save them for when they are needed." Saja heard Nick say from below. Saja then watched Nick switch to his silver knife. That thing looked like it could do some serious damage. Saja hopped from tree to tree, she was around ten feet in the air. The flashlight light the trees. The beam fell close to her sometimes, far away others. "There's something in the trees." Said an old man's voice. Saja heard footsteps in the dry leaves beneath the tree in which she concealed herself.

            She was still winded from the long run to the forest, and she didn't want to take any chances with Nick's group. Her original plan had nothing to do with getting them to follow her. She wanted to do some reconnaissance on Nick, but she was caught and forced to attack or be killed. She did not know what to do next. This was probably the first time that Saja was not one step ahead of Nick.

            Saja saw a few flashlight beams from somewhere deeper in the woods. They were not of Nick or his friends', because Saja checked Nick and his friends and they were still there. Saja squinted and saw that they were the same Kerulen gunmen that she sent after Nick. They must have backed off and flanked around to the woods. Saja saw them only because of her vampire night vision.

            As it turned out, her precaution was necessary, because Nick did gain an advantage over Saja. They ran through the woods. "No one move!" Said one of the gunmen, Christopher. His threat was reinforced by a shotgun blast through the trees. There were six gunmen in total, Christopher, John, Romeo, Chuck, L'eclarc and Junior. "You are all outnumbered and out gunned!" Shouted Chuck. The gunmen stayed away from Nick and his friends, they knew they had knives.

            The Kerulen came out of now where, I recognized them as the Kerulen gunmen who shot at us in the pickup truck. They were all armed with pump action shotguns. They were right, we were outnumbered and out gunned. "Lay down your weapons, and slide them over to us, nice and slow." Said one of them with a French accent. I took out the knife and the revolver and slid them over to the gunmen. The others did the same. "Smart people you have here, Nick." Said the Frenchman. He knew my name? He didn't bother explaining, I didn't bother asking.

            That's when Saja dropped down from the trees. Cowardly Saja, she couldn't handle us on her own. Saja reached downwards the holster on the gunmen who fired the shotgun in the air and grabbed a golden .44 magnum. Shot walked over to me slowly. She held the gun in the air, her arm bent at the elbow. "Alright everyone, line up!" Yelled the French one, he seemed to be the boss. "Turn around!" He yelled. We all did as we were told. But apparently not fast enough, because he fired his gun into the air and that made us all jump into position.

            "Put your hands in the air." Said Saja. She was now behind me. I heard her pull back the hammer on the magnum. I felt cold metal on the back of my head; the barrel of the gun. I've waited a long time for this." She said. I saw the moon off to my right. "Tell Tigiti that his world has fallen." She said. I looked to my friends. All of the gunmen had a gun positioned much the same as Saja's was on my head. One sat out. I saw a glint of something off to my left, like a mirror being held in the sunlight. A split second later, I heard a loud, echoing crack! One of the Kerulen to my left fell. Before Saja or the other Kerulen could act, I grabbed my friends and we ran to the left, whoever was the mysterious sniper out there, it was my new best friend.

            Saja was stunned. Junior had been shot by someone. The mystery assassin couldn't have been part of Nick's group, for Saja stalked Nick and his group for quite a while, there was no one else except for the people that were about to get shot here. Nick had made considerable progress in escaping, but he wasn't getting away, Saja was going on the offensive. Saja bolted after him and hit him at the base of the skull. He launched forwards and stumbled, but didn't fall.

            As soon as I saw the Kerulen fall, I ran as fast as I could. Saja jumped forwards and hit me at the base of the skull, I'm pretty sure she bit me, but I somehow wasn't sure.  I kept running. All through my mad dash I was wondering: who was our savior? I heard frantic footsteps behind me. The instant I looked back, a gunshot rang out and the French Kerulen fell, clutching his stomach. I saw someone holding a rifle about twenty feet in front of me. He had it pointed directly at me. The figure was murky in the darkness, but was pretty tall. Before I could look at him anymore, he fired his rifle. Fear filled me.

            I expected to be blown backwards with a gunshot on my chest, but instead, one of the Kerulen gunmen dropped behind me. "So you're the Chosen One?" He asked. Huh? How did he know? "No sense in denying it there, Nick. I know all about you and your battle to defeat Saja." This threw me. "How? Who are you?" I demanded. He took off his hood and I saw that he was a blonde guy who was around my height, he kind of looked like me, too... "My name is Hale, and I believe that you have my journal." The man said. Recognition sprayed through me. This was Hale! This was the man who wrote the journal in 1698? He didn't look old at all, he looked around my age.

            I reached into my pocket and pulled out the little book, and gave it to him. "Ah, this brings back memories of imminent death, you know I almost died while writing that, I just wanted someone to remember that there was, and still is, someone who is destined to battle Saja." I had a thought. "Were you the chosen one before me?" I asked him. "Yes." Was his response. "I almost killed Saja, back there underneath Danabro, but one of her vampires bit me on the shoulder, so I barricaded myself inside that library and wrote that journal." I asked him; "Then how are you still alive?" He smiled. "Ah, that angel, Tigiti, found me. Told me I was his Chosen One, and that I was destined to bury an ancient evil at some place called 'Drottingheim.'"

            "I never heard of Drottingheim. So I did a search of the world's history, and found that Drottingheim is nowhere to be found! Tigiti warned me that if I ever tried to kill her anywhere but at Drottingheim, she would have the strength to make herself stronger, and I guess that's how Saja is stronger now, and she has this thing called the subspace corruptor, and I think that is how she opens portals to other worlds, so we need to get this thing from her, and go to the different worlds and see if we can find a place called Drottingheim." No way. "Woa, woa." I said. "There are a few things here that you should know; Tigiti is dead, and he wrote a note saying how Saja will come back stronger than before, and that she will never die."

            Before Hale could say anything, the rest of my group came charging out through the forest. "Who's this?" Asked Kaleen. "This is Hale." I told her. "He owns the journal that I kept with me." I added. Chibata was panting. "Saja ran away as soon as her gunmen started to die around her." Chibata reported. "Alright, I can take you to my place if you all want, and we can talk things through." Said Hale. "Yeah, we have a car." Chibata said. So we circled back through the woods and came to the jeep. Hale got into the driver's seat and we started down the road that lead to his house. A few minutes later we pulled into a driveway.

            Hale lead us into a modern two story home that could have easily been anyone's. It was the kind of house that a four person family would live in. We followed Hale to the living room, where he lit candles and offered us all a seat around the table. "Alright, I brought you all here because I think that you should know something." said Hale. "What is it?" I asked. Hale looked troubled. His once bright eyes of a young, enthusiastic guy became those of a sad old man mourning the days of his youth. His eyes said something. There was something wrong. Something that concerned all of us. "Saja cannot die."

            My jaw dropped. I saw the carving on the wall, I shoved it to the back of my mind, but it resurfaced. I knew it was true. She would not die. She would never die. "If she can't die, how has humanity not been wiped out sooner?" I asked. Hale's eyes changed once again. Sadness filled his eyes in the form of moisture. He was on the verge of tears. He finally spoke. "Many many years ago, I was another man. I was a disciple of Tigiti. He taught me the ways of fighting undead creatures. Silver was always the way. One day, when I was training in front of the vampire council, a girl, Saja, stormed the castle with many vampire followers, I'm sure you have all heard the story of how Saja was apprehended by the council and escape soon afterwards. Anyway, I continued my training. Centuries later, Saja has tried to take over the council once more, this time, she succeeded. The only way to stop her from doing any more damage is to negotiate. She will not die, and she has thousands of followers, and she can easily make more at any time through the ritual of Turlock."

            "So yes," he continued. "I am centuries old, but listen to me; Violence is not the way to win this battle, or this war. Look how the last time violence worked out." He said, gesturing to the apocalypse outside. "You're joking." I simply said. "You are implying that the only way to defeat Saja, is by not defeating her?" I asked. Hale looked a little pale. "Well, er, yes." He stammered. "If you kill her, she will not die, she will come back, even stronger than before, and each time you try to defeat her, and think you succeed, she will come back stronger, every time." He said with finality. "But what will stop her from breaking a fair negotiation? Saja is not exactly a woman of her word." I said Hale thought for a moment.

            "Well what else do you propose? We can't simply defeat her, Nick, I have seen it happen before, she will come back stronger and better in all aspects, if you decide to fight Saja, you will lose, she is a demon." Now it was my turn to think. "Maybe there is another way. Another way that's a little more guaranteed to work." I suggested. Hale's expression grew dark. "We have not much time, Chosen One, if we do not act fast, the Kerulen race will become ravenous due to the shortage on humans, they will inevitably kill all of us at some point, and there is not a doubt in my mind that whatever decision you choose, it will greatly affect the outcome of this world. What will you choose? War or Peace?" Hale asked me.

            My head was spinning. One minute I was discussing a plan, now the entire future of Earth is on my shoulders. I couldn't think. I hadn't slept in God knows how long, and I think this final act of stress was a negative reaction. I passed out.

            I woke up in a bed in a seemingly normal house. I felt faint and dead inside. Why? I didn't know. There was a kind of pain at the base of my skull that I had never experienced before, it was not intense, and it was not burning, well, not in the way you would think. It was warm, and heat radiated off of it. I faintly remembered escaping Saja and her gunmen, and when she lunged at me, she must have bitten me. What did she do to me? She was just full of surprises. I decided that this is what happened, I was so tired that I layed back and fell back asleep.

            I woke up again, my mind was sluggish and so was my movement. There was banging and the sound of wood grinding against wood outside of my room. There were voices as well, aggressive ones. Adrenaline tried to clear my sluggishness, but whatever Saja did to me was strong, and I stayed in this dream like state for a while. My ears felt plugged but I heard Hale's name being called, and then a loud crack! A gunshot. Just then, someone burst through the door.

            Saja stood alone after the shootout that happened in the forest. The remaining gunmen that she had fled, the others were shot. After briefly checking, they were dead. A fire now burned inside Saja. Earlier, when Saja lept at Nick, she had indeed bitten him, but it was not an ordinary bite, she had injected a chemical into him that would allow her to know the whereabouts of nick for the next few days, but the chemical also causes a non-fatal, but potent sickness. Ever since her former self had her accident with the magic, Saja had a new set of abilities, as you might guess.

            Saja was going after Nick. The poison would keep him in capitated long enough for her to kill him. She was finally going to destroy every world that there ever was, is and will be. That was her ultimate goal, and without Nick, it would be possible, and would happen. Saja followed Nicks scent, It was incredible, but she had gotten used to it. She followed it to a house. She kicked the door in. She wanted revenge. She wanted Nick gone. She wanted to fulfill her ultimate goal.

            As soon as she stepped foot into the house, she saw Nick's friends. The one closest to the door picked up her knife, it was a little girl. Saja kicked her in the chest and she landed across the room. Everyone in the room, even an old man, lunged at her with knives drawn. She kicked and punched her way through them. They were not killed, Saja did not want any casualties, and she knew her Kerulen race would soon go insane due to lack of human blood, they could have Nick's friends. A blonde young man came out of one of the rooms with a rifle drawn, finger on the trigger, Saja bolted across the room, and grabbed the underside of the barrel. She thrusted it upwards just as a bullet was discharged from the firearm. Drywall and wood splinters rained from above.

            She then took the butt of the rifle and easily hit the man in the face. He fell to the ground. Saja cleared most of the rooms. She came to one that was locked, she kicked it inwards just like the front door. She found Nick pale and sickly looking. "I have waited for this moment for centuries, Chosen One." She said slowly, enjoying the position she had in the situation.

            I was in the dreamlike haze when the person burst through the door. "I have waited for this moment for centuries, Chosen One." Said a familiar voice in a familiar, arrogant tone. "Saja." I whispered. I had no doubt she had come here to kill me. All the times in the past, she had toyed with me, but she had never tried to kill me up until now. Like Irene said; it was like a game. But now it's serious. I saw Saja leaning in. My mind was foggy, as was my sight. When she bit me, she must have inserted some kind of toxin. Saja carried on talking; "You were quite the worthy adversary, Nick. The last time someone opposed me, what do you call him? Tigiti? Yes, that was his name. He thought he could oppose me and my forces, and he almost did. Surely you know the legend?"

            I shot her a puzzled look. "No? Well, to sum it up, Tigiti killed me, or so he thought, at Drottingheim, There is no way you can win, chosen one. You cannot defeat an undefeatable enemy, the essence of life and the blade of faith are now destroyed, and there is nothing you can do to resurrect your home world from doom." I could feel some of my strength returning, and through my foggy eyes, I could see an opening to the door. I rolled off of the bed without looking back, and burst through the door. I saw my friends, moaning on the ground. What had she done to them? Saja bared down on me, I could see that she had a twinkle in her violet eyes that I had never seen before. She was so close now that I could see my reflection in her violet eyes. I half expected to see Saja with crimson eyes, but I remembered that the crimson eyed Saja was long dead, and was replaced with this new, more powerful Saja. I was paralyzed with fear.

            She lunged at me, knocking me into a wall, making my haze worse. I saw a blur of motion coming at me, I throughout my arms in a feeble attempt to stop her from slamming into me. My hands caught her on both shoulders. I straightened my arms, but my locked arms were no match for Saja's superior strength. I saw a blur of motion behind Saja, nothing more than what I would generate when I rolled in my sleep, I must have imagined it. I let me arms go slack, then I dove to my right, Saja slammed into the wall, due to the overload of forward force she had when she was pushing against me.

            I was backed against a wall yet again, I saw a big table beside me, so I assumed I was in the kitchen, I through my hands to the side, searching for anything I could use to defend myself. My hand grasped something! I held it to my eyes and it was... A wooden spoon. No, really. A spoon. Then a thought hit me, a wooden spoon could be sharpened to make a wooden stake. Look out Saja, MacGyver’s in the house. I frantically searched for a second and found a rusty kitchen knife, it would have to do. I started sharpening the handle around two inches down the shaft of the spoon, and struck upwards with the knife, I did this for several seconds, I tested the tip, it was fairly blunt, but it was all I had.

            "You can't possibly think you can get away." Said Saja from around the corner. I hid around the wall, Saja would be coming from the left, so I hid behind the wall where she would be coming. "Come out, come out wherever you are!" came her singsong voice from around the corner. Her singsong voice sounded so innocent, it didn't consent with the character of Saja that I knew, it sent a shiver down my spine. Saja's footsteps were coming closer, she'd come around the wall in a few seconds. Fear and excitement filled me, I thought about what I was about to do. Before I knew it, Saja came around the corner. I had surprise on my side, so I had caught her off guard. I saw her blurry form, and I lunged at it, stake first. My guess work was rewarded with a painful scream from Saja that rang in my ears, and rattled my skull. Was this it? Had I killed Saja? Happiness and joy filled me to the brim. Saja's screaming persisted. A cold anger filled me. I was having my revenge for her imprisoning me, for her killing people, for her tyranny. I wedged the stake in until it was only my hands touching her. The entire stake was shoved through her heart.

            My vision cleared, so did my thinking. I got to witness the last few seconds of Saja's life. I watched with cold anger, hatred and a grotesque joy as I saw the spark of life fade from my enemy's eyes. Then a strange thing happened, Saja stopped screaming, her body went rigid, and her mouth opened and she whispered: "I'll be back, Chosen One, I’ll be back." She said this while wearing a smile a kid would get on Christmas day. It sent yet another shiver down my spine. A dark glow enveloped Saja, and her body disappeared. On any other day I would have been overjoyed, but today I knew that it wasn't over. In fact, it was a new beginning.

© 2014 Ryan Henderson

Author's Note

Ryan Henderson
The first chapter of Book Three: Beside The Dying Fire is here! Alright, this chapter turned out to be a little long, please tell me what you think :)

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My vision cleared, so did my thinking. I got to witness the last few seconds of Saja's life. I watched with cold anger, hatred and a grotesque joy as I saw the spark of life fade from my enemy's eyes. Then a strange thing happened, Saja stopped screaming, her body went rigid, and her mouth opened and she whispered: "I'll be back, Chosen One, I’ll be back." She said this while wearing a smile a kid would get on Christmas day. It sent yet another shiver down my spine. A dark glow enveloped Saja, and her body disappeared. On any other day I would have been overjoyed, but today I knew that it wasn't over. In fact, it was a new beginning.

This right here is possibly the most epic line I have ever read. I love the depth and meaning that this paragraph has, and it will come back to hold true later in the book, yes? Bah, I'm sure of it! Very well done and keep writing!

Posted 5 Years Ago

Ryan Henderson

5 Years Ago

I will, thank you for reviewing!

5 Years Ago

It was a awesome book I hope you enjoyed my book

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1 Review
Added on October 16, 2014
Last Updated on November 21, 2014


Ryan Henderson
Ryan Henderson

Cobourg, Ontario, Canada

I will review your work if you send me a read request, I like to help writers get off of the ground, I will also suggest ideas for your work if needed. Please note that I don't really like poetry... more..